This is the power of imagination—
your neuro-endocrine system lines
itself up in service to your thoughts,
perceptions and intentions about
yourself and about the world.
of receptors for chemicals that trigger feelings of pleasure and
contentment, since “stopping to smell the roses” in a threatening
world would put an organism at serious risk.
Cells Are Excellent Students
Research in psychoneuroimmunology (the study of the “mind-body
connection”) has given us astonishing illustrations of the power of
our mind to effect “cellular instruction.” Examples include:
• Subjects who developed asthma attacks after being given a
harmless substance, but told it was something to which they
were highly allergic.
• Patients with multiple personality disorder have differing
physiological profiles, depending upon which personality is
active. This can include optical prescriptions, allergies and
even diabetes in one personality but not others.
• Patients with high cholesterol levels reduce them by 35 percent solely through daily, 15-minute “mind-clearing” sessions.
something we imagine or something we experience “in reality.”
Elite athletes have long known this, and use focused visualization to augment their physical conditioning and practice. Whatever you spend time thinking about and envisioning—regardless
of whether it’s something you hope for, or something you hope
against—is what you are ordering from the menu of life: This is
what I’ll have, thank you.
This is the power of imagination—your neuro-endocrine
system lines itself up in service to your thoughts, perceptions
and intentions about yourself and about the world. With this
awesome power in your service, you engage 24/7 in a nonstop
dialogue with your 50 trillion brilliant cells, telling them about
the world they need to adapt to. As those cells continually
regenerate to make the never-ending story that is you, the question becomes: What are you instructing your 50 trillion cellular
geniuses to be?
When you consciously practice presence, cultivate gratitude
and focus on appreciation, you are teaching yourself to be peace.
You are being the peace you seek. You are changing the world.
• The placebo effect, while complex and subject to a variety of
factors, has a long and impressive history of demonstrating
the powerful role of a patient’s mind when she has expectations that a treatment will work. One study found that up to
75 percent of the effectiveness of antidepressants was due to
the placebo effect rather than the treatment itself.
We are walking pharmacies, able to produce our own powerful
drugs to treat everything from pain to sadness to fear. Our
brains and nervous systems do not know the difference between
Marcy Axness, Ph.D., is the author of the upcoming book Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers. An early development specialist, parent counselor and professor of prenatal development,
she harnesses leading-edge transdisciplinary research to guide
clients in nurturing their children’s healthiest development from
pre-conception/pre-adoption onward, as well as their own inner
development as parents. View article resources and author information here: pathwaystofamilywellness.org/references.html.
Excerpted from the forthcoming book Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers
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